I have played several different board game to video game translations, and none works as well as Pandemic does on the iPad. Fans of the excellent Tabletop series might recognize the game from Season 1. For the rest of you, Pandemic is a game about the brave men and women from the CDC as they fight to stop four diseases from ravishing the world. This is a cooperative game for four players that rewards teamwork and thinking outside the box.
You will lose. It’s ok, but you will lose.
You have to work with your team to keep all four diseases from spreading too fast while you work to develop cures for them. Here’s what will happen the first few times you play. You will identify the disease that is the biggest threat and throw all four players at this one. You will wipe it out and move on to the next scariest one. Suddenly, one of the two diseases that you ignored just goes nuts and spreads over a hemisphere faster than Mr. Fantastic. That’s ok. That’s supposed to happen. Eventually, you will lose in a few different ways and start to get it. Then, after you have a dozen or so wins under your belt, you can change the difficulty from easy.
So far, this game doesn’t sound fun, but I haven’t had this much fun losing in a game in a long, long time. Pandemic is extremely difficult, but always fair. With careful planning, teamwork, and just a little bit of luck, you can come back from some truly dire situations. The best part of the game is when you succeed in spite of the incredible challenge.
So, Pandemic is fun, but how is the iPad version? Well, hackneyed narrative trope, it is exceptional. The iPad version captures the look and feel of the game while simplifying the setup and rule juggling. It also smoothly communicates all the information that you need to make effective decisions. This is the single best board to video game translation that I have seen.
If you have three friends and want to play this with them, pass and play works very well and lets everyone shout ideas just like the table version. If you are sad and lonely, it is easy and still fun to control everyone in turn. If you have an iPad and like cooperative board games, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.